A crackdown on a national scale aimed at apprehending thousands of illegal immigrants across the country began Saturday night in the country's largest city and in several other localities, according to one official.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was to resume its previously announced plan to apprehend thousands of illegal immigrants to whom it had been ordered to leave the country, targeting people in at least 10 cities. The operations are expected to begin Sunday, but New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Saturday on Twitter that ICE agents had already acted in New York.
The ICE raids began late Saturday and early Sunday morning in "a number of jurisdictions", not just in New York, confirmed a senior administration official at Fox News.
De Blasio said the raids in New York had taken place in parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan.
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"We have received reports of attempted but apparently unsuccessful ICE enforcement actions in Sunset Park and Harlem," said the mayor. "@NYCImmigrants and their supporters get in touch with residents and distribute resources at home."
Lawyers guide them on their rights, including instructions not to answer if officers knock on the door unless a warrant is signed by a judge. The Democratic mayor said his city would not cooperate with ICE.
Mark Morgan, Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, told FOX & Friends on Sunday that the raids were aimed at "enforcing and maintaining the integrity of the system".
"It's the rule of law," Morgan said. "People who stay illegally here, especially those who have benefited from due process more than any other nation in the world, would provide someone who came here illegally, including those with permanent orders. , the consequences for those who stay here illegally.That's what it's all about today. "
Morgan, the former head of the ICE, deferred to divulging details about the raids. But he blasted the mayors of the cities who reacted against the repression, calling their actions "unjust".
"It is illegal to pursue people here," he said. "Every city, every body that enforces the law that resists, does not cooperate, they actually put these cities in danger."
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Acting Director of the CIE, Matthew Albence, said Friday that the targets were on a "fast track" of immigration court cases for Central American-majority people who had recently arrived at the US border in unprecedented numbers . Similar operations took place in 2016 under President Obama and in 2017 under President Trump.
The operation will target people subject to final deportation orders on 10 major lawsuits, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Miami. Albence said that this does not mean that arrests will be limited to certain areas. The authorities will go where their investigations lead, even if there are five states where the case is filed.
Trump said the authorities were "focused on criminals as much as possible before doing anything else".
"It starts on Sunday and they are going to get people out and they are going to bring them back to their country where they are going to bring out the criminals, put them in jail or put them in jail in the countries came from," said the president.
The family operation of the Obama era in 2016 resulted in the arrest of about 10% of the targeted people, and the 2017 effort recorded a arrest rate lower, according to Albence. Other operations that targeted people with criminal arrest histories gave arrest rates of about 30%, thanks to access to force databases. of order.
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Administration officials said they were targeting about 2,000 people, resulting in about 200 arrests on the basis of previous crackdowns.
Trump said on Twitter that his agents were planning to illegally arrest millions of immigrants in the country.
Kevin Corke Hollie McKay, Sam Dorman and Fox News Associated Press contributed to this report.